Einstein’s Brilliant and Unusual Life, in a Graphic Novel
By Maria Popova
Albert Einstein (March 14, 1879–April 18, 1955) is celebrated as “the quintessential modern genius” and his groundbreaking discoveries have changed the course of science, but he was also a man of enormous and thus inescapably fallible humanity, whose confusion and conflictedness were inseparable from his genius.
This seething cauldron of brilliant complexity is what Swiss writer, economist, historian, and psychoanalyst Corinne Maier and French illustrator Anne Simon explore in Einstein (public library) — the third installment in their series of illustrated biographies of thinkers who have shaped modern life, following Freud and Marx.
From Einstein’s formative childhood experiences to his arrival in America, from his annus mirabilis to his Nobel Prize, from his views on religion to his civil rights activity, the graphic novel unfolds with elegant simplicity of language and intelligent playfulness that would have delighted Einstein, who was known for his irreverent wit.
In addition to the easily digestible format, the substance of the book is decidedly nutritious — Einstein’s most important theories are explained with care and comprehensible clarity.
Complement the marvelous Einstein with the iconic scientist on the secret to learning anything, his increasingly timely message to posterity, and his wonderful letter of advice to Marie Curie on how to handle haters, then revisit On a Beam of Light — the picture-book biography of Einstein that numbers among the loveliest children’s books celebrating cultural icons.
Illustrations courtesy of Nobrow
Published June 13, 2016